“Polar Stroking: New Theory and Methods for Stroking Paths” by Kilgard

  • ©Mark J. Kilgard




    Polar Stroking: New Theory and Methods for Stroking Paths

Session/Category Title: Vector Graphics



    Stroking and filling are the two basic rendering operations on paths in vector graphics. The theory of filling a path is well-understood in terms of contour integrals and winding numbers, but when path rendering standards specify stroking, they resort to the analogy of painting pixels with a brush that traces the outline of the path. This means important standards such as PDF, SVG, and PostScript lack a rigorous way to say what samples are inside or outside a stroked path. Our work fills this gap with a principled theory of stroking.

    Guided by our theory, we develop a novel polar stroking method to render stroked paths robustly with an intuitive way to bound the tessellation error without needing recursion. Because polar stroking guarantees small uniform steps in tangent angle, it provides an efficient way to accumulate arc length along a path for texturing or dashing. While this paper focuses on developing the theory of our polar stroking method, we have successfully implemented our methods on modern programmable GPUs.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: